Happy to be in a positive place!
So, this isn’t going to be the easiest of years by any stretch, but I’m happy to say I’m doing okay. It’s taking a while and I’m still building myself back up both emotionally and physically. It’s not okay about Rio…and it never will be. Nothing I achieve this year will replace what the Olympics mean to me, but I have shifted my focus, and I will do all I can to podium on the Overall World Triathlon Series. Each race has been about building and learning, and I will continue to try and improve as much as I possibly can throughout the year now. Let’s see where that takes me.
Leeds WTS…what a fantastic race, course, support, everything was pretty amazing to be honest. I’d only been back on camp with Darren for 10 days before heading off to Leeds, so was a pretty short time on camp. Would be interesting to see how things would have gone had I have had a few more weeks block of steady training! I knew I was in okay shape bike and run wise, but swimming, oh dear, I have no idea what has happened! It’s so annoying not being able to pin point what’s going on, but I suppose it’s work in progress.
Going into the race ranked number 2 I stood next to Flora on the pontoon, and that’s as much as I saw of her! Claxon sounded and she was gone! I didn’t have a great swim, can’t say exactly why not, but it was an improvement on my other races, so I’ll take that as a positive. There was a long run into T1, that’s such a nightmare as I can’t help but red line it as fast as I can in case I miss a break. So onto the bike and I felt terrible until just before I entered the city. By this time our pack had managed to bridge up to the trio of Gwen, Emma and Vicky. This left Jess, Lucy and Flora who were well away. I didn’t really expect to catch up to those girls especially on this course which is perfect for a small breakaway – tight roads and tight turns really suit those girls who are all strong cyclists and technically very good as well. I have to mention Andrea Hewitt – she was amazing throughout the 41.5km bike, technically she was so aware, and so strong going in and out of the turns, turning the power up to the point I felt sometimes I was just hanging on. The gap was up and down, but I think averaged between 1.30 – 1.40, going into T2. Coming into transition I made sure I was in safely and the plan was just to focus on my own run, which ended up being a 10km battle with Miss Vicky Holland. I felt I was stronger on some parts of the course, but wasn’t strong enough to drop her, and she was stronger on other parts. I was conscious that there were still the likes of Non, Barbara, Andrea and Rachel chasing behind, so couldn’t let the pace slow. It got to the final lap and I had no idea who was going to take it. The last 1500m I was hurting… we took the final left turn and Vicky surged, I tried to go, but had nothing left, and finished just off the podium in 4th place.
I’m happy with the result, considering how training has been going, but not fully happy with how I executed the race. Congratulations as always to the podium Gwen, yet again showing her class, Flora and Vicky. I had so much support out there on the course, not only did so many of my family and friends make the trip to Leeds, but I just felt every person behind me out there, it was one of the best supported races I have ever been in. The city was 3 people deep at least all around the course, it was truly a race I will remember for a long time. Thank you so much to everyone involved, especially the volunteers.
Just on a very quick note, I’m so sorry to the 1000’s of age-groupers who had a bad experience. Social media has filled me in with the disappointment you feel. All I can say is that it’s a new race, a new course and lets hope that the organisers learn from your feedback, and make it a better experience for you all next year. Please don’t let it put you off. Triathlon is such a difficult sport for us to participate in, but it’s also a difficult sport to organise. I really cannot thank everyone enough out on the course in Leeds, yes the course was amazing but the support was just incredible. Hope to see you all, and more next year!!
I’m now back to Morzine, and will get my head down for a little bit longer before jet setting again to race for my German Team EJOT, and then Stockholm will be the next WTS on the schedule. Hope everyone’s mid season training is going well, and yet again thanks to everyone for all their support.